Ecology

Tettigoniidae family: Here is what you need to know

Everything you need to Know about Bush Crickets

There is a family of insects that is referred to as katydids or bush crickets. Formerly, they had the name “long-horned grasshoppers.” This family that belongs to the suborder named Ensifera is the sole existing family in the Tettigonioidea family. Over 6,400 species of this family are documented

The members of this family of insects are largely nocturnal and are characterized by their noisy mating calls. Some members are also characterized by their camouflage and mimicry.

The name of the family is Tettigoniidae and the origin of the name is the genus Tettigonia. The Latin meaning of tettigonia is leafhopper.

The distribution of the Tettigoniidae family

The members of this family are present on in all continents barring Antarctica. A greater part of them resides in the world’s tropical regions. An instance is “Amazon basin rain forest” that houses over 2000 species of this family. Nevertheless, the members of the family also reside in the cold, dry temperate areas. Some 255 species are present in North America.

About their diet

Though this family mostly have flowers, bark, leaves, and seeds numerous species are entirely predatory. They eat snails, other insects, and even petite vertebrates that include lizards and snakes. The commercial crop cultivators consider some species to be pests and they spray for limiting the growth of the species. As the species usually some in low densities are usually low they rarely cause much economic loss.

A close look of the insect’s head and mouthparts lets you determine the sort of food that they have.

How do they communicate?

The males of the Tettigoniidae family feature sound-making organs on the posterior angles of the front wings. The females of a few species have the capacity of stridulation. After the males shrill the females respond with a chirp. The males make this sound for dating the females. They make this sound by rubbing two of their parts. This process is named stridulation. The two parts are

  • The file with tough ridges
  • The plectrum

The stridulation of many species has a tempo that the ambient temperature dictates. Thus, a quite precise temperature reading is possible from the times that they chirp in a specific duration.

How do they capture their prey?

Several species of Tettigoniidae family have spines on diverse sections of their bodies and they function in diverse ways. A case in point is the Listroscelinae. Their limb spines are present on their bodies’ ventral surfaces. They work such that they capture their prey for making a short-term cage over their mouthparts. These spines are somewhat flexible though blunt.

How do they defend themselves against predators?

As the species go for a breather at a time of the day, they take up a diurnal roosting stance for optimizing its hidden qualities. This stance hoodwinks predators into believing that they’re either dead or simply a leaf of the plant.

Various species have vivid coloration, apical black spots on the inside planes of the tegmina, and hind wings of bright color. When disturbed they open their wings and use their coloration to hoodwinking predators into believing the spots to be eyes. This feature combines with the coloring that mimics leaves to blend them with their backdrops.

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Sumana Chattaraj

Sumana is an experienced content writer and environmental analyst. She is also an SEO expert, blogger, and online media publisher.

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